A WAR of words has broken out after police applied to review the licence of a popular club night at a hotel near Southend airport.

Police have called for the review at the Skylark Hotel in Aviation Way after raising concerns about the hotel’s Zero 6 club night.

The most recent club night saw 480 tickets sold, but police first objected to one-off plans to extend the club night until 5am and have now called for a review of the licence, which will be heard next month.

However, hotel owner Andreas Stavrinides says he is shocked by the police complaints and rubbished any suggestions are unsafe as they have been going on for decades.

The row started when the hotel applied to Rochford Council for an extension of Zero 6 for two hours, ending the night at 5am rather than the usual 3am.

During that hearing police raised a number of concerns about the venue, claiming the hotel hadn’t answered a number of questions about safety.

The police’s licensing officer told the council committee: “Police are not satisfied that sufficient management measures were in place to safeguard people on site during the event.”

He added: “This kind of event could impact on children potentially staying at the hotel by way of noise. There could also be a risk to children if people in attendance were under the influence of recreational drugs.”

Mr Stavrinides told the committee that the club had risk assessments in place and that safe events regularly ran there.

However, based on the police advice, Rochford Council refused the extension time and police have now applied for the licence review.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Stavrinides said: “Any children staying in the hotel would be with their parents or guardians in any event.

“Access from the hotel to the Zero 6 is limited and only allowed to staff and authorised people under the supervision of doormen.

“Even if there were children in the hotel, no questions were raised about their protection up to 3am. All of a sudden the police were concerned about their protection. This took us by way of shock.”